People who have received mRNA Covid vaccines are at least twice as likely to be infected with the coronavirus as unvaccinated people, according to two new papers from researchers in Indiana and Ohio.
Worse, the newer of the two studies, which covered Omicron this fall, found risk actually rises with the number of shots.
People who had received three or more shots were more than three times as likely to be infected as those who hadn’t received any.
For people who have been vaccinated – especially those who have received a third or fourth shot – the papers will make for disturbing reading. They suggest vaccinated people may have few good options to protect themselves from infection should a more virulent variant of Omicron emerge.
The more disturbing of the two reports was posted only yesterday. It examines Covid infections this fall in about 50,000 workers in the Cleveland Clinic health-care system, about 10,000 of whom had received the bivalent booster.
The work is a “pre-print,” rather than a formal paper, meaning it has not been peer-reviewed, but the analysis is relatively straightforward and no one has suggested it is inaccurate.
The paper showed that the mRNA bivalent shots lowered the risk of Omicron infection by roughly 30 percent in the three months it was first offered in September. That protection is remarkably weak, considering it comes in the weeks when vaccine-generated antibodies are at their peak.
Other papers have also shown the mRNAs do little against Omicron. The more interesting and disturbing finding came when the researchers stratified risk of infection by the number of previous doses.
The result is remarkably clear. Each successive shot added to the risk of infection. People who had received more than three doses had almost a 6 percent risk of Omicron infection over a three-month period. Those who hadn’t been vaccinated had a risk of about 1.5 percent.
Adjusted for various risk factors, the people who had four or more doses had 3.4 times as much chance of being infected as those who had none….